Kathryn Parsons graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Classics and started her first business at 26 years old. She is the co-founder and CEO of digital education company Decoded.
Founded in East London in 2011 with a credit card, Kathryn was on a mission to spread digital enlightenment through an understanding of the world of code, data and the technologies behind the screen.
Today, their work decoding code, data, AI and cyber security has reached the boards and leadership teams of businesses worldwide.
Described by the Evening Standard as “a woman on a mission to teach us all to code”, Kathryn was part of the successful campaign to have code introduced as a mandatory subject to the UK National Curriculum in September 2014, for which she received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
Kathryn embraces creativity in all its forms, especially entrepreneurship and code. She loves taking an idea, making it real and seeing the positive impact it can have on people. By teaching people how to code, she is able to help empower people with knowledge and confidence.
The word revolutionary is tossed around relatively freely today, and applied to anything from new smartphones to the latest pro-biotic yoghurts. However Kathryn insists that one of the few truly revolutionary advances that society has made in the last few decades is the invention of the internet, and the World Wide Web that sits on top of it. Kathryn decided to find a way to make the internet clear and open to anyone who wanted to know more about it.
Decoded has since empowered and transformed thousands of individuals and businesses across the globe with its accelerated learning experiences teaching code in a day, data, future technologies and cyber security and has been at the forefront of driving the agenda for coding on the curriculum.
In 2016, Kathryn was appointed Chairwoman of the UK Government Institute of Coding.
In 2017, she joined the London Mayor’s Business Advisory Board, the UK Government Cyber Security Skills Advisory Board and the non-executive board of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Other accolades include being listed in the Sunday Times Britain's Top 30 Female Power List 2014 and Business Insider's “30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech”. Plus winning the Technology & Digital category of the 2013 Women of the Future Awards.
In 2018, Decoded launched their Data Academy providing professionals with qualifications in advanced analytics and machine learning. Decoded are currently powering Data Academies for over 30 organisations worldwide spanning M&S, Nike and UBS.
Their mission is to fill the growing data skills gap, ensure there is data literacy at leadership across business and government and realise the positive potential of emerging technologies such as AI within the economy.
Kathryn’s a self-confessed language lover, having studied Japanese and Mandarin in her spare time and Latin and Ancient Greek at Cambridge University. For her, code is just another language, only one that’s used by billions of people.